Deepashree Banerjee

Saffola's Green Coffee promotes healthier lifestyle

Green coffee is gaining worldwide popularity as a way to lose a few inches around the waist. Edible oil and personal care products maker, Marico launched a range of packaged health foods, such as premium green coffee and green tea, under the Saffola Fittify brand earlier this year.

On the occasion of International Coffee Day (October 1), Saffola Fittify Gourmet launched a new campaign — Switch to The Healthier Coffee’ — encouraging people to take small steps towards a healthier life by simply making a switch.

Crafted by 82.5 Communications, the brand has launched a series of digital films introducing the new Saffola Fittify Green Coffee.

Curated by celebrity chef Kunal Kapur, Saffola Fittify includes products made with plant-based superfoods, besides green tea and green coffee. The healthy gourmet product portfolio currently comprises an interesting range of Hi Protein Meal Soups and Hi Protein Slim Meal Shakes.

From the early days, Saffola has been selling health/heart health proposition. We connected with a few experts to understand whether something like this would work in the Indian market.

Karthik Srinivasan
Karthik Srinivasan

Communications consultant Karthik Srinivasan has a rather interesting take to share, “There was a famous ambulance ad where Saffola was pitched as ‘health insurance’. Given that health has always been given priority over taste (a very common pitch for most other cooking oil brands), it makes contextual sense for Marico to extend that name to other forms of healthy food.”

He continues, “Given the increasing interest around all-things-healthy in India (at least among millennials and some other segments too), I think this is timed well by Marico too, to expand beyond cooking oil.”

However, what he found deplorably poor is the state of their digital footprint, “The website of the parent brand has only information on oils.”

He further points out, “The Saffola Fittify page has only information on protein shakes, meal soups and green coffee, and completely misses information on the tasty range of millet poha, millet upma and quinoa poha.”

It's almost like each division is acting on its own (which could well be true, in this case), without the other one is up to.

However, he found the price band of the soup and poha/upma range to be considerably higher than the other options from rival brands. “Considering the fact that Saffola oil wasn't being sold at a premium, I'm not sure how one can justify such a premium for the sub-brand, compared to similar products from other brands,” he concludes.

Rahul Vengalil
Rahul Vengalil

Rahul Vengalil, founder of digital agency WhatClicks, proves his point by citing a few examples:

1. Cure.Fit, which is running so many health related brands and there is traction that is being seen across their product offerings.

2. The success of brand — Too Yumm brand with Virat Kohli. A lot of Indians are looking for options in the health segments for various reasons.

3. The rise in lifestyle diseases is also acting as a deterrent to unhealthy eating habits.

4. The impetus given to health at a pan-India level with Fit India movement.

“Having said this, the success of the brand will depend on the affordability and seeing visual health results,” he explains.

We asked him if the FMCG giant is already feeling the heat given the Ready to Eat/Cook market is getting increasingly cluttered.

“I was doing some research for an F&B client of ours and it is said that by 2021, only 50 per cent of the meals would be cooked at home, down from the present 84 per. FMCG brands (especially those that manufacture consumable goods) are going to have a challenging time addressing changing consumer preferences and behaviour. They need to innovate and create strategies aimed at the future. For Saffola, the protein shake and green coffee is definitely a step towards that,” he signs off.

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